Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite foods. Today I am sharing a different way to prepare them that works very well in the summer because you can make ahead and eat cold on top of salads or as a side! The recipe is VERY easy to make and takes little to no time 🙂

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes 

Makes about 10-12 cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium baked sweet potatoes (no skins)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • optional: add a dash of red pepper flakes or cayenne for a spicy kick

Directions

Step One: Bake your sweet potatoes thoroughly or if you are short on time microwave the sweet potatoes until they are fully cooked and can easily be mashed.
Step Two: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with tin foil or parchment paper and spray or coat with coconut oil.
Step Three: Place prepared sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash the potatoes until they are a good consistency (some people prefer small chunks).
Step Four: Stir in the two cups of cooked quinoa, onions, garlic, salt and pepper
Step Five:Using your hands, shape the quinoa mixture into small palm-sized patties and place them on the baking sheet.
Step Six: Brush or spray some additional coconut or olive oil on the top of each cake and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown!

These sweet potato cakes are a great salad topper, side dish, appetizer or quick snack 🙂

Shredded Kale Salad

During a long weekend trip to Nashville this past fall with Justin, we stumbled upon a restaurant we loved and ended up going to twice while we were there. On their menu they had this amazing shredded kale salad that we couldn’t get enough of ( I know, I know, not typical vacation food – but trust me there were burgers and sweet potato fries consumed after this). I was determined to remember to replicate it when we got home (and after I purchased a food processor). Fast forward to January, after receiving a food processor from my parents for Christmas 🙂 , I finally got around to trying to replicate the recipe and to my delight it was a success and now I want to share it with all of you! This salad is super easy to make, very healthy, and really tastes great too. The shredded of the kale and added dressing really makes the bitter kale flavor you are used to.

Shredded Kale Salad

                                             

Ingredients:

1 bag of kale – take out the big stems
2 tbs of olive oil
¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
lemon
optional: add ¼ cup of dried cranberries or sundried tomato pieces for a little sweet taste

Directions:

  1. Place half the bag of kale into the food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil and pulse until it is finely ground into small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the kale and additional tablespoon of olive oil and finish the shredding process
  3. Remove all the shredded kale into a big bowl.
  4. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a small additional drizzle of olive oil and toss.
  5. Add the slivered almonds, parmesan cheese and any additional toppings and mix well.

Serve and Enjoy 🙂

BEETS & all their benefits (+ a recipe)

Beets are not only delicious but also one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Beets come in two different colors; red and yellow. Each color has a slightly different flavor (the yellow is milder). Beets can be cooked and served in so many ways, making it super easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are just some of the MANY health benefits of beets,

  • HIGH in many Vitamins & Minerals including, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, vitamins A, B & C, beta – carotene and folic acid, just to name a few! The high amount of vitamins and minerals in beets helps reduce cholesterol, promote skin health, and can help to treat indigestion, constipation and anemia.
    • Note: Beets are extremely beneficial to women who are pregnant since they contain high levels of B Vitamin Folate which helps the development of the child.
  • Natural CLEANSER & DETOXIFIER! Beets are a natural tonic for the liver, purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Beets contain properties that fight blood clotting and plague formation which could ultimately lead to heart disease, stroke or a pulmonary embolism.
  • Source of ENERGY. Beets are very low in calories and high in good carbohydrates and natural sugar. This type of sugar releases very slowly (as opposed to the bad sugars), which combined with the carbohydrates, regulates energy levels for longer.

…and now, of course, a recipe to make using beets (which happens to be my all time favorite way to cook them).

Rosemary Roasted Beets
(regular or spiralized)

  

Ingredients:
Beets
Garlic Powder
Rosemary
Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a baking tray with tin foil and spray with coconut oil or olive oil.
3. Cut beets into small squares and/or wedges and line them up on the baking sheet. You can also spiralize your beets if you have a spiralizer.
4. Drizzle the beets with coconut oil or olive oil and then sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary and sea salt on the top.
5. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
6. Serve over greens with crumbled goat cheese and pistachios for an amazing salad or just eat them as is for a perfect side dish 🙂

Homemade Sugar Free Granola

Granola is always coined as a “health food,” and it certainly can be, but most of the time it is LOADED with added sugars and artificial flavorings. My homemade recipe is sugar free and still delicious – use it as a topping on yogurt, chia pudding, smoothie bowls or just eat it as a snack 🙂

Homemade Sugar-Free Granola Recipe

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup raw unsalted almonds
• 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
• 1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
• 1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 3 cups regular gluten free rolled oats
• 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place the almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut and oats into a large baking dish. Add the cinnamon and ground ginger and mix to combine.
3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with applesauce and pour the mixture over the nuts. Mix well to coat.
4. Place the baking dish into a preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the nuts and oats are golden. Make sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes to ensure that it cooks evenly. Also, keep in mind that if you reduce the amount of ingredients, the granola will bake faster.
5. Take the baking dish out of the oven and let the granola cool completely.
6. Store in a glass container with a tight lid in a cool dark place.

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